How To Clean Your Brewery Equipment

Cleaning your brewery equipment is vital for maintaining the quality and safety of your beer. Proper cleaning not only ensures that your brews taste great but it also keeps your equipment in good working order. In this article, we will explore the importance of clean brewery equipment, provide general cleaning guidelines, and offer a step-by-step guide to cleaning your brewery equipment. We will also address deep cleaning and maintenance, troubleshooting common cleaning challenges, and the role of sanitisation in brewing. By following these tips and best practices, you can keep your brewery equipment clean and your brews top-notch.

Understanding the Importance of Clean Brewery Equipment

Cleanliness is crucial when it comes to the brewing process. Any residues or contaminants left behind in your equipment can negatively impact the quality of your beer. Even small amounts of dirt or bacteria can alter your brews' taste, aroma, and appearance. Clean equipment also helps prevent off-flavours and oxidation issues.

Furthermore, clean brewery equipment is essential for health and safety reasons. Bacteria and other pathogens can multiply in dirty equipment, potentially causing infections and other health risks. Maintaining cleanliness ensures a safe working environment for you and your team.

But why is cleanliness so important in the brewing process? Let's delve deeper into the impact it has on the quality of your beer.

The Impact of Cleanliness on Beer Quality

Cleanliness directly affects the taste of your beer. Residues from previous batches, such as leftover sugars or yeast, can introduce off-flavours or produce unwanted fermentation. Imagine spending hours perfecting your recipe, only for it to be marred by the remnants of a previous brew. Proper cleaning removes these residues, allowing the authentic flavours of your ingredients to shine through.

Not only does clean equipment enhance the taste of your beer, but it also helps maintain consistency. Each batch should start with a clean slate, free from any remnants of previous brews. By doing so, you can better replicate your recipes and deliver a consistent product to your customers. Consistency is key in the brewing industry, as it builds trust and loyalty among your patrons.

Now that we understand the impact of cleanliness on beer quality let's explore the health and safety considerations associated with clean brewery equipment.

Health and Safety Considerations

Keeping your brewery equipment clean is not just about beer quality; it's also about health and safety. Harmful bacteria and microorganisms can thrive in dirty equipment, posing significant health risks. The last thing you want is for your customers or team members to fall ill due to contaminated beer. Regular cleaning helps eliminate these risks and ensures a safe working environment for everyone involved.

Additionally, proper cleaning prevents cross-contamination between batches. Each beer you brew is unique, with its own set of ingredients and flavours. By thoroughly cleaning and sanitising your equipment, you reduce the chances of contaminating your beer with spoilage organisms or unwanted flavours. This attention to detail not only protects the integrity of your brews but also showcases your commitment to quality.

So, as you can see, clean brewery equipment is vital for both the quality of your beer and the well-being of everyone involved. By prioritising cleanliness, you can create exceptional brews that delight your customers and maintain a safe working environment. 

Identifying the Essential Brewery Equipment

Before diving into the cleaning process, let's first identify the essential pieces of equipment commonly found in a brewery.

When it comes to brewing beer, having the right equipment is crucial to the success of the process. A typical brewery setup includes various pieces of equipment that work together to create the perfect brew.

Overview of Brewery Equipment

A typical brewery setup includes various equipment, such as:

  • Fermenters: vessels for fermentation and maturation of the beer
  • Mashing and boiling vessels: used for the brewing process
  • Pumps, hoses, and pipes: facilitate the movement of liquids throughout the brewery
  • Heat exchangers: cool the wort before fermentation
  • Filters and clarifiers: remove solids before packaging
  • Kegs, bottles, or cans: containers for storing and serving the finished product

These are just some of the essential brewery equipment, and each plays a crucial role in the brewing process. Let's take a closer look at each piece of equipment and understand its specific functions.

The Role of Each Piece of Equipment

Understanding the role of each piece of equipment is essential for effective cleaning. Different equipment requires different cleaning techniques and attention to specific areas.

Fermenters are where the magic happens. They provide the perfect environment for yeast to convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. However, they can be left with yeast or trub residue after fermentation, affecting the taste and quality of future batches. Thorough cleaning is necessary to ensure a clean slate for the next brew.

Mashing and boiling vessels are where the brewing process begins. These vessels extract sugars from the malt and boil the wort with hops to create the desired flavours and aromas. Over time, sugars can accumulate and form a stubborn residue on the vessel walls. Focusing on these areas is crucial to prevent any off-flavours from carrying over to the next batch.

Pumps, hoses, and pipes are the unsung heroes of the brewery. They ensure that liquids flow smoothly throughout the brewing, from transferring the mash to the fermenter to pumping the finished beer into kegs or bottles. However, they can easily become clogged with debris or develop bacterial growth if not properly cleaned. Disassembly and manual cleaning are often necessary to maintain efficiency and prevent contamination.

Heat exchangers play a vital role in cooling the wort before fermentation. They help reduce the temperature quickly, preventing unwanted bacterial growth and ensuring a clean fermentation process. Regular cleaning of heat exchangers is necessary to remove any buildup that could hinder their performance.

Filters and clarifiers are responsible for removing solids from the beer before packaging. These can include leftover hops, yeast, or other particles that could affect the appearance and taste of the final product. Proper cleaning and maintenance of filters and clarifiers are essential to ensure consistent clarity and quality in every batch.

Lastly, kegs, bottles, or cans are the final destination for the finished product. These containers need to be clean and free from contaminants to maintain the integrity of the beer. Cleaning and sanitising these storage and serving vessels are crucial for a fresh and enjoyable drinking experience.

By understanding the function and requirements of each piece of equipment, you can tailor your cleaning approach accordingly and achieve optimal results. Remember, a clean brewery is the foundation for brewing great beer!

General Cleaning Guidelines for Brewery Equipment

Now that we've covered the basics let's delve into some general cleaning guidelines for your brewery equipment.

Keeping your brewery equipment clean is essential for maintaining the quality and taste of your beer. Regular cleaning not only ensures that your equipment is free from any contaminants but also helps to prolong its lifespan.

When cleaning your brewery equipment, there are a few key steps to follow. Firstly, it's essential to always start with a thorough rinse. This helps to remove any leftover residue from previous brewing sessions and prepares the equipment for a more thorough cleaning.

Once you've rinsed your equipment, the next step is to use a cleaning solution. There are various cleaning agents available designed explicitly for brewery equipment. These solutions are formulated to remove any stubborn stains, yeast, or bacteria that may have built up over time.

When using a cleaning solution, it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Different solutions may require different dilution ratios and contact times. It's important to ensure you use the correct concentration to achieve optimal cleaning results.

After applying the cleaning solution, it's time to scrub. Use a soft-bristle brush or sponge to gently scrub all surfaces of your brewery equipment. Pay extra attention to areas prone to buildup, such as valves, fittings, and fermenters. Thoroughly scrubbing these areas will help to remove any stubborn residue and ensure a thorough clean.

Once you've finished scrubbing, rinse your equipment to remove any remaining cleaning solution. It's important to rinse thoroughly to ensure that no cleaning agents are left behind, as they can affect your beer's flavour and quality.

After rinsing, it's time to sanitise. Sanitising your brewery equipment is crucial for killing any remaining bacteria or yeast that may still be present. Various sanitising agents are available, designed explicitly for brewery use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct dilution ratio and contact time.

After sanitising, it's vital to let your equipment air dry completely. This helps to prevent any potential contamination from airborne particles. Once dry, your brewery equipment is ready for the next brewing session.

Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance are key to ensuring the longevity and performance of your brewery equipment. Following these general cleaning guidelines, you can keep your equipment in top condition and produce high-quality beer every time.

Introducing Vigo - the perfect cleaning kit for your brewery

To make this easier for you, we thought we would shine a light on a company making waves in the brewing industry with its impressive range of brewery cleaning and maintenance equipment - Vigo. 

Who is Vigo?

Vigo has made it its mission to provide brewers like you with top-notch brewery cleaning and maintenance equipment. They understand the importance of a clean brewery and its impact on the quality of your beloved brews. That’s why they offer an impressive lineup of products designed to make your lives easier and beers even better. 

What do Vigo offer?


Let’s start by looking at their disinfectants. I know what you’re probably thinking - disinfectants sound all sterile and clinical, but trust us, they’re a crucial part of the brewing process. Vigo’s range of disinfectants are specifically formulated to eliminate unwanted germs and bacteria lurking in your brewing equipment. With these powerful disinfectants, you can rest easy, knowing that your gear is free from any potential contaminants that could affect the quality and taste of your beer. 

Cleaning Powder

But it doesn’t stop there. Vigo also offers a cleaning power that packs a punch. We all know the struggles of dealing with stubborn stains, dried yeast, and other residues that can accumulate in your equipment. Luckily, Vigo’s cleaning powder is like a superhero for your brewery, as it can tackle even the toughest cleaning challenges. You can wave goodbye to those pesky residues and hello to a sparkling clean brewing setup.

Sulphur Candles

No, we’re not summoning any evil spirits here. Sulphur candles are used for fumigation, helping keep your barrels and storage areas free from unwanted critters and microbes. Vigo understands the importance of protecting your precious beer from unwelcome guests; their sulphur candles are just the ticket for providing that extra layer of security and peace of mind.

Food-grade Grease

Last but certainly not least, Vigo has your back with its food-grade grease - a real-game changer for brewers. We all know that regular lubricants have no place near brewing equipment as they can easily contaminate your brews. With this, Vigo ensures that your valves, gaskets, and other moving parts are well-lubricated without compromising the quality and taste of your beer. It’s a small but essential component in running your brewing operations smoothly. 


Whether you’re an independent brewer or a craft brewery owner, Vigo is the name to remember if you’re in the market for brewery cleaning and maintenance equipment. They offer a wide range of products, including disinfectants, cleaning powder, sulphur candles, and food-grade grease, that are all reliable, effective, and designed explicitly for your craft. Vigo is here to help you elevate your brewing game and ensure that every batch of beer is brewed in a clean and hygienic environment. 

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